From: The Atlantic

Can You Be Friends With Your Coffee Maker?

The number of devices you can talk to is multiplying—first it was your phone, then your car, and now you can boss around your appliances. Children are likely to grow up thinking everything is sentient, or at least interactive: One app developer told The Washington Post that after interacting with Amazon’s Alexa, his toddler started talking to coasters. But even without chatty gadgets, research suggests that under certain circumstances, people anthropomorphize everyday products.

Sometimes we see things as human because we’re lonely. In one experiment, people who reported feeling isolated were more likely than others to attribute free will and consciousness to various gadgets. In turn, feeling kinship with objects can reduce loneliness. When college students were reminded of a time they’d been excluded socially, they compensated by exaggerating their number of Facebook friends—unless they were first given tasks that caused them to interact with their phone as if it had human qualities. The phone apparently stood in for real friends.

Read the whole story: The Atlantic


I think there is something to be said about the increasing size of the “internet of things” IOT and how it will affect the next generation. Susan Greenfield writes in her book “Mind Change” about how the increasing use and dependence of technology is quickly becoming the next addiction pandemic, like smoking or drinking because of the reward/pleasure parts of the brain it triggers to counteract those feelings of loneliness. I happen to think Susan’s standpoint is a bit bleak.

Sherry Turkle’s TED Talk and Book (which I haven’t read yet but I can assume it reflects the TED talk). Also discusses the changing role of technology in our evolving society.

I happen to take the standpoint that it IS similar to alcohol or smoking, BUT that doesn’t necessarily mean it will control our lives. It has to be approached with a realm of self control and cultural view that social media, technologies, etc are merely tools to enhance “Real” relationships with other humans. After all, all of technology was built BY someone FOR someone. All of technology is to serve human use. (For now, #terminator, #skynet, #iAmRobot, #machine uprising, #theMatrix). I’m kidding, I dont think there will be a machine uprising, I think we are too selfish of a species to allow the technology to advance that far. without destroying it. Though perhaps we may be vain enough… guess we’ll see.

Best to avoid drinking coffee….

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